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Abdominal Trauma Can Lead to a Tear of the Mesentery

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Abdominal Trauma Can Lead to a Tear of the Mesentery


The abdomen is home to numerous organs and tissues which could be placed at risk with any trauma to the area. While the liver, spleen, and stomach receive a significant amount of attention, the mesentery can be at serious risk of rupturing as well. The abdomen houses numerous vital organs, such as the liver, damaged by blunt trauma. 

How Does Abdominal Trauma Occur?

This kind of traumatic injury can occur in several different ways, including:

  • Auto Accidents: An auto accident is one of the most common ways that abdominal trauma can occur. Proper use of a seatbelt can help prevent this injury; however, improper use of a seatbelt can increase the risk of abdominal trauma. Someone who doesn’t wear their seatbelt could strike the steering wheel in an auto accident, damaging their abdominal tissues.
  • Contact Sports: Even though athletes playing contact sportswear padding and protection, they are still at risk of suffering internal injuries. Tackles in football can lead to serious abdominal trauma, which could damage organs such as the liver and spleen.
  • Pedestrian Injuries: Numerous injuries can occur if a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle. Including bone fractures and abdominal issues, these injuries can be serious and could create a wrongful death situation if the injuries are bad enough.

The consequences of abdominal trauma can be serious and wide-ranging. A recent systematic review was published exploring the consequences of mesenteric injuries, which could be lifelong.

A Systematic Review of Mesenteric Injuries due to Trauma

A team of medical professionals conducted an extensive systemic review of the electronic databases to explore mesenteric injuries. When someone is involved in a serious auto accident, their abdominal compartment can be stretched, leading to tears in their intestines.

When this happens, the matter inside the intestines leaks into the abdomen, creating a surgical emergency that could quickly place someone in shock, leading to death. The researchers found that the most common mechanism of injury was abdominal accidents involving improper seatbelt use, such as not wearing the shoulder restraint.

The most common symptoms that the researchers found included bruising, bleeding, and severe abdominal pain. Most physicians ordered a CT scan to confirm the injury, showing tears in the patient’s intestines. After this, the patients were all taken to the operating room for emergent surgery, as is the expected treatment. The matter in the abdominal compartment was removed, and the tears were repaired.

Treatment and Recovery can be Extensive

Everyone who has a tear in their small bowel requires a trip to the operating room for emergent repair. The surgeon will use suction catheters to remove the abdominal material and stitch up the tears in the small bowel to stop the flow of fluid.

The researchers found that the average length of stay was about three weeks, with a mortality rate of 15 percent. Those who survive the initial event are often not allowed to eat until their bowel resumes movement. This is to ensure that individuals can produce feces and do not develop a small bowel obstruction and make sure that they do not re-tear their intestines by eating too soon after the injury. Eventually, most people make a full recovery and can eat a regular diet.

Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call our injury lawyers for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400.

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 4.7.21]

Photo by Shane on Unsplash

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